Prosecution's star witness cross-examined in Mangano-Venditto trial

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CENTRAL ISLIP -

Harendra Singh returned to the stand Monday in the trial of former Nassau Executive Ed Mangano and former Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto.

Last week, the jury listened to wiretaps in which Singh spoke to a friend about the idea that he had nothing on Ed Mangano and other politicians.

If that's true, it directly contradicts the testimony that Singh delivered in the trial, in which he said he paid Mangano and Venditto bribes and kickbacks in exchange for official government action.

On Monday, Singh took the stand as cross-examination continued by both Ed and Linda Mangano's defense attorneys.

On Monday morning, Singh told the jury that he lived a "modest life," but the defense attorneys painted a far different picture of the self-proclaimed "restaurant mogul."

Linda Mangano's attorney, John Carman, entered pictures of Singh's sprawling Laurel Hollow mansion into evidence. Singh sought to downplay his property in the North Shore village.

Carman also showed pictures of some of Singh's possessions, including a Maserati. The pictures were an attempt to show that spending $3,000 on a chair or $7,000 on a watch, like Singh says he did for the Manganos, wasn't a bribe, but were just gifts from a friend for whom money was no object

Earlier in the day, Ed Mangano's attorney, Kevin Keating, closed his cross-examination by suggesting Singh was capable of doing or saying anything to preserve his self-interest.

“Mr. Singh, you spent 15 years in your business life telling massive falsehoods to suit your own interests. Is that correct?,” asked Keating.

Singh replied: “I did whatever it took to run my businesses.”

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